Hiking in Northern California: Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout

I usually spend most summers hopping around Kalifornia. This year, I spent Spring in my home state on account of 4 very special weddings kind of bundled together throughout the months of April, May and the first week of June. It was notably special because between weddings, I also got to celebrate my favorite woman’s 89th birthday AND my own 30th together with my twin bro and the other three Bradys* (Mom, Dad, big Bro).

*My Spanish family refers to my American family as the Bradys…as in the bunch. And my Spanish family are referred to as the Teletubbies.

Springtime on the west coast was indescribable.  After years of drought, the golden state was finally blessed with a rainy and snowy winter, and it had been over half a decade  for me since experiencing those wildflowers and rolling green hills with such intensity color and smell. WOW is springtime in Calif unprecedented. Truly. But consequently, I am currently missing swim season right now 😦 Oh well, one less person peeing in the Yuba River this year. Nevertheless, I have past memories to sooth my nostalgia and FOMO.

The Buttes Fire Lookout trail is a classic hike in the Sierras! And it took me 28 years of life to get there. My girlfriend Jamie has a family cabin out of Sierra City and she invited me for a long weekend with her hubs, first born son, younger bro and sister-in-law. Adventure Karlita is always looking for activities and play while tripping around on summer vacay. And Jamie never ever lets me down! In typical Jamie style (as an exceptional host), she lead us up the mountain with a toddler on her shoulders and her second son in her belly. And she wasn’t just a little bit pregnant, she was definitely over halfway through the pregnancy. A freaking Queen!

Here are some technical details:

The lookout tour stands at 2617 meters. The views are the best around: The Buttes, Plumas and Tahoe National Forest, upper/lower Sardine lakes all spread out around you in the majestic manner that California’s landscapes tend to do.

With an OHV you can start the hike further up but traditionally the hike starts on Butcher Rand Road, following the PCT signs and eventually meets back up with the OHV trail. It’s an easy to navigate hike, given that the tour is in sight for a good part of the uphill climb. Once you get to the bottom of the lookout tour and if you don’t have vertigo, you got to buck up and do some couple hundred stairs before being blessed with the views. The 5-mile out and back is only about a 500 meter elevation gain so it’s super feasible for most people.

Kalifornia, I love you thiiiis much!




Miss you, amiga ❤


Hiker buddies

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